2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers look to stop Seahawks' running game

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-06 13:14

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Panthers say their first order of business Sunday is slowing down Seattle's running game, which is triggered by quarterback Russell Wilson and spearheaded by running back Marshawn Lynch.

And they feel they have the pieces in place to do just that.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera says his team is better equipped to stuff the run this season after drafting 300-pound defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short with their first two picks and signing another giant space eater in Colin Cole to go along with veteran Dwan Edwards.

The Panthers also have Jon Beason back from an injury, helping solidify a solid linebacker corps that includes Luke Kuechly, the NFL's leading tackler last season, and Thomas Davis.

``We have four big stout physical football players up front that can help our guys and allow our linebackers to run,'' Rivera said.

The guy they'll be chasing primarily is Lynch.

And he's tough to stop.

Lynch has run for more yards than any running back in the league since November of 2011. He had 85 yards rushing on 21 carries in Seattle's 16-12 win over Carolina last October.

The Seahawks last year went to the en vogue zone read offense - a system where a mobile quarterback has the option to handoff or keep the ball as the play develops - something the Panthers used extensively the last two seasons with Cam Newton.

Lynch has been the beneficiary of that scheme.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Lynch reported to training camp this summer in great shape and eager to pick up where he left off last season, rushing for more than 100 yards in eight of Seattle's final 10 games.

``He's looked fast, and agile, and strong and has prepared every single day full on,'' Carroll said. ``... I haven't seen him like this. I haven't seen him this sharp going in to a season. He's really taking this seriously. That's not just like the last month or so, that's six months of preparation. He's really poured himself into to prepare for a great year.''

Carolina's defense has experience defending the zone read in practice over the past two seasons facing Newton, but they haven't seen it much in games.

With more and more teams installing the zone read, Rivera said he and his staff spent a portion of the offseason meeting with college coaches - though he wouldn't say which ones - to get their thoughts on how to best defend it.

Still, Carolina struggled to defend it in their lone preseason loss at Philadelphia.

That's something Rivera attributed to ``being stagnant'' at the line of scrimmage and reacting instead of attacking.

``When the ball was snapped everybody was trying to see where the quarterback was going,'' Rivera said. ``It was our first real shot against the zone read. But once we settled in and started to attack and do the things we are capable of, we were able to handle it a lot better. It was a good lesson for us to learn.''

The key, Rivera said, might be the play of Lotulelei, their first-round draft pick from Utah.

Lotulelei struggled against the Eagles, but Rivera said he was outstanding the following week against Baltimore.

``I think that was kind of one of those things that was an awakening for him,'' Rivera said. ``You'd like to see him continue to be effective inside, continue to push the pocket, hold the point of attack, hold the double team and let the linebackers run.''

On Sunday, the Panthers will find out if they're good enough to stop Seattle's offense - and compete with one of the best teams in the NFC.

``There's excitement about the unknown,'' Rivera said. ``There's excitement about what the potential is and what you hope to become.''

NOTES: Panthers SS Mike Mitchell (calf) is doubtful for Sunday. Rivera said Friday if Mitchell can't play recently signed Quintin Mikell will get the start. ... WR Domenik Hixon (hamstring), defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (thigh) and guard Amini Silatolu (hamstring) are questionable, while LB Jon Beason (knee) and FB Mike Tolbert (hamstring) are probable for Sunday.

---

Online: AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Steve Reed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Stepfan TaylorSep 18 04:14p

Arizona Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor will likely see his role increased with RB Jonathan Dwyer deactivated indefinitely. Stepfan is a smaller back than Dwyer. Taylor and RB Robert Hughes [ More ]

Jamaal CharlesSep 18 04:12p

Updating a previous report, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) took part in the early portion of practice open to the media Thursday, Sept. 18, and his availability [ More ]

Bobby RaineySep 18 04:07p

Updating an earlier report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey will start in Week 3. The decision is not primarily because of RB Doug Martin's (knee) injury, but also [ More ]

Steve WeatherfordSep 18 03:02p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot, ankle) and LB Devon Kennard (hamstring) both did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 18. P Steve Weatherford (ankle), OT James Brewer [ More ]

Marqise LeeSep 18 03:02p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (hamstring) aggravated his hamstring injury in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17, and he's now been ruled out for Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts. His [ More ]

Kerwynn WilliamsSep 18 02:52p

The Arizona Cardinals signed free-agent RB Kerwynn Williams (Chargers) to their practice squad Thursday, Sept. 18.

Jalen ParmeleSep 18 02:52p

The Arizona Cardinals re-signed RB Jalen Parmele to their active roster Thursday, Sept. 18.

Jamaal CharlesSep 18 02:52p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) is participating in practice Thursday, Sept. 18.

Chris RaineySep 18 02:42p

Arizona Cardinals RB Chris Rainey is being released from the practice squad Thursday, Sept. 18. Rainey has a history of domestic violence, according to sources.

Da'Quan BowersSep 18 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy (hand) is unlikely to play in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, Sept. 18. McCoy fractured his hand just four days ago, [ More ]

Giovani BernardSep 18 02:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RBs Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill have formed an impressive backfield tandem under offensive coordinator Hue Jackson so far after two games. Bernard is on pace for [ More ]

Lamar MillerSep 18 02:12p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (ankle) practiced for the third straight day Thursday, Sept. 18. Miller has a slight limp after spraining his ankle in the team's Week 2 [ More ]

Wes WelkerSep 18 01:42p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) practiced with the team Wednesday, Sept. 17, which was his first on-field work since Labor Day, and he said he was cleared medically [ More ]

Rolando McClainSep 18 01:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Rolando McClain (groin) is not participating in practice Thursday, Sept. 18. McClain will need to improve quickly to play in Week 3, in the opinion of Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas.

DeSean JacksonSep 18 01:22p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is on the stationary bike as the rest of the team stretches for practice Thursday, Sept. 18. The plan is for Jackson to [ More ]

Marqise LeeSep 18 01:02p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (hamstring) has been ruled out for the team's Week 3 game.

Doug MartinSep 18 12:52p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (knee) is unlikely to play in the team's Week 3 game due to a knee injury, according to a league source. Martin will [ More ]

Khiry RobinsonSep 18 10:23a

New Orleans Saints RB Khiry Robinson's workload will increase after RB Mark Ingram's (hand) injury. 'He's another back we feel like is young (but) is someone that'll be ready [ More ]

A.J. GreenSep 18 09:53a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (foot) is likely to play in Week 3, according to head coach Marvin Lewis.

Eric DeckerSep 18 09:32a

Updating previous reports, New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) was encouraged that he was able to do some jogging in the rehab area of the practice field Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Doug MartinSep 18 09:23a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (knee) and RB Bobby Rainey are expected to split carries in Week 3 and in the near future.

Lamar MillerSep 18 12:43a

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (ankle) was not on the team's injury report Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Walter ThurmondSep 17 11:23p

New York Giants CB Trumaine McBride is expected to start in place of the injured CB Walter Thurmond (pectoral) in the Week 3 game against the Houston Texans.

Giovani BernardSep 17 11:23p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard is on pace for 328 carries, while rookie RB Jeremy Hill is ticketed for 152 for a total of 480. That would be the [ More ]

Jeremy HillSep 17 11:23p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill is on pace for a total of 152 carries, while RB Giovani Bernard is on pace for 328 carries. The most runs in franchise [ More ]

Eric HermanSep 17 11:23p

New York Giants OL Eric Herman is eligible to return to the team after having his four-game suspension for violation of the drug policy voided. The team has [ More ]

Drew StantonSep 17 09:45p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton is in line to start his second straight game against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3 with QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) sidelined. It [ More ]

John AbrahamSep 17 09:13p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion), LB Alex Okafor (thigh) and DE Frostee Rucker (calf) each did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. LB Larry Foote (shoulder) and P Dave [ More ]

Andre EllingtonSep 17 09:13p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

B. Green-EllisSep 17 08:03p

Several clubs have reportedly reached out to free-agent RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Bengals), who is still in the process of rehab after suffering a hip injury in the preseason.

Jonathan DwyerSep 17 08:03p

Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer has been deactivated from all team activities Wednesday, Sept. 17. The team was made aware of allegations by the Phoenix police and are cooperating [ More ]

Marshawn LynchSep 17 07:53p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (back) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group